FA Cup: Liverpool and Manchester City fans to be given 100 free buses for Wembley semi-final

The only previous Wembley meeting between Pep Guardiola's City and Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool was the 2019 Community Shield

The Football Association is to provide 100 free buses for fans attending the FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Manchester City at Wembley.

Fans of both clubs and mayors of the respective cities had asked for a venue change given no trains are running from either city to London that weekend.

However, the game, being shown live on BBC One, will go ahead at Wembley on Saturday, 16 April at 15:30 BST.

“Unessential roadworks” will also be paused to aid journeys, the FA said.

“The FA recognises the significant challenges that are being faced by some Liverpool and Manchester City supporters with train services being severely limited,” an FA statement added.

The FA has also pledged “a number of free return bus services” for Manchester City fans attending the Women’s FA Cup semi-final away to West Ham at 12:15 BST on Saturday.

Unlike the men’s semi-finals, which are both held at Wembley each season, the women’s semis are not held at a neutral venue.

City’s trip to West Ham will be live on BBC One, while Arsenal’s game at home to Chelsea at 12:30 BST on Sunday, 17 April will be shown on BBC Two, with both semi-finals also available on BBC iPlayer.

FA resists calls to switch semi-final venue

In a joint letter to the FA, Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham and Liverpool counterpart Steve Rotheram had said keeping the game at Wembley would cause fans “excessive cost and inconvenience”.

They argued a lack of train services, due to engineering works, would “price fans out of the game” and lead to extra journeys on motorways already “stretched to capacity by bank holiday traffic”.

However, the FA has resisted calls to switch the venue, instead attempting to minimise travel disruption through talks with Network Rail, National Express and National Highways.

The free return bus journeys “will ensure that up to 5,000 Liverpool and Manchester City supporters will be able to travel to Wembley Stadium free of charge”, their statement said.

Wembley Stadium has hosted both FA Cup semi-finals - in addition to the final - since 2008

“Hundreds of miles of unessential roadworks will be put on hold to help supporters enjoy the occasion and enhance their journeys,” the FA added.

Places on the free buses must be pre-booked with the clubs involved.

Both FA Cup semi-finals have been played at Wembley since the refurbished stadium opened in 2008 – before that, the semis had been held at neutral Premier League grounds.

The other FA Cup semi-final is between London clubs Chelsea and Crystal Palace so there is no issue over the venue. That semi-final will take place on Sunday, 17 April, with a 16:30 BST kick-off.

FA Cup semi-final TV schedule and kick-off times (all BST)

Men’s semi-finals:

Manchester City v Liverpool – Saturday, 16 April, 15:30, Wembley Stadium, on BBC One and BBC iPlayer

Chelsea v Crystal Palace – Sunday 17 April, 16:30, Wembley Stadium on ITV and BBC Radio 5 Live

Women’s semi-finals:

West Ham United v Manchester City – Saturday, 16 April, 12:15, on BBC One, BBC iPlayer and BBC Radio 5 Live

Arsenal v Chelsea – Sunday, 17 April, 12:30 on BBC Two, BBC iPlayer and BBC Radio 5 Live

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